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Neighbor of alleged Kirkersville killer: "Girlfriend dead because no one listened"

Loved ones and community members came to provide comfort and pay their respects to those killed at Kirkersville nursing home on Friday morning. (WSYX/WTTE)

Investigators spent much of Friday inside the home of Thomas Hartless looking for clues in a deadly nursing home shooting.

"A police officer would be alive. Children would have a father. It's not the case now," said Utica resident Connie Long.

Authorities said 43-year-old Thomas Hartless shot and killed Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario and two nurses inside a nursing home.

Investigators from the Licking County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation searched for evidence inside the residence.

Police said the alleged shooter's parents owned the house and Hartless lived there off and on.

Connie Long lives across from the house where Hartless lived.

"It's sad because it could have been prevented. It did not need to happen."

One of those nurses killed Friday is Marlina Medrano. Authorities confirmed Medrano and Hartless were in a relationship. Long said it was an abusive one and recounts an incident she witnessed in March 2017.

"He started attacking his girlfriend and she ran to our house. I called 911. We pulled her in the house and he drove in my yard to run her over."

Licking County records show Hartless has at least three cases of domestic violence.

Long said his violent past concerned her family.

"Every corner of my house has a loaded weapon. We're ready to go because we live in fear."

Long wonders if Friday's tragedy could've been prevented.

"That woman a few months ago was bloody and beaten in my home and I'm caring for her. I'm a medic as well and I'm caring for her and hugging her and praying for her and she's dead because no one listened."

An autopsy will performed on Hartless on Sunday.

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